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Travel and hospitality

Sofitel leverages local ties in new campaign film

April 25, 2024

One of the actors enjoys athletic and nightlife activities, while the other takes in culinary and cultural wonders of the city. Image courtesy of Sofitel French-Algerian actor Dali Benssalah costars in Sofitel's film, "The Encounter," shot in Mexico City. Image courtesy of Sofitel


Hospitality brand Sofitel Hotels & Resorts is honoring local cultures and the diversity of its stays.

In a new short film called “The Encounter,” two guests take to Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, experiencing different sides of the city from start to end. Starring American actress Gillian Anderson and French-Algerian actor Dali Benssalah, the advertisement paints the company as a provider of personalized luxury travel experiences.

“This video symbolizes Sofitel’s new positioning: a desire to create encounters between cultures, people and ideas — the very definition of Sofitel's DNA,” said Nicolas Gronier, vice president of global marketing at Sofitel, in a statement.

“An invitation to discover the local culture, to open up to others, and to live the Sofitel experience to the fullest, while remaining true to one’s self at all times.”

Mexico City moments
Set in the oldest capital city in the Americas, Ms. Anderson and Mr. Benssalah go through their day after waking up at the Sofitel property.

Ms. Anderson is no stranger to luxury hotel advertisements, having been tapped by peers in the industry before (see story). The 32-year-old actor, however, appears to be newer to the space.

Sofitel staff cater to both stars' needs. Image courtesy of Sofitel Sofitel staff caters to both stars' needs. Image courtesy of Sofitel

The stars are now the hospitality brand’s newest ambassadors.

As seen on Fox Network’s X Files, the American seeks out gastronomical pleasures and authentic traditions. She also shoots a movie, suggesting that although this is a business trip, she still finds time for leisure, her dog in tow.

Mr. Benssalah, who appeared in the 2021 James Bond feature No Time to Die, takes part in athletic activities. He jogs around the historic streets and attends a boxing match.

Despite the differences, Sofitel is shown supporting both of them.

Ms. Anderson enjoys rides to a vibrant market to film her movie and her dog is treated to canine-friendly meals in their room. Meanwhile, the French-Algerian talent savors morning fruit as he takes in the skyscraper views and reads up on the city’s nightlife — later in the evening, he fits in a swim at the hotel’s pool.

Sofitel presents The Encounter: Where Free Minds Meet

As the campaign’s premise promises, it seems that both were able to wander exactly how they wished to and at their own pace.

A new vision
Sofitel states that the setting of the campaign served as a perfect location to embody a fresh vision for the brand.

The many colorful settings and offerings allow for multifaceted trips. Combining contemporary and centuries-old sites, Mexico City is arguably a suitable destination for many kinds of travelers, as Ms. Anderson and Mr. Benssalah demonstrate.

This idea of diversity drives the narrative and the newly established Sofitel pillars.

A concept entitled "The Cultural Link" is among the refreshed brand values. It symbolizes the intersection of people and ideas, as conveyed by the campaign film.

In the campaign, Australian director John Hillcoat captures the different types of vacations that Mexico City visitors can have. Image courtesy of Sofitel In the campaign, Australian director John Hillcoat captures the different types of vacations that Mexico City visitors can have. Image courtesy of Sofitel

Specifically, the hospitality company is paying tribute to the humanities and cinema of Mexico. With the inclusion of the National Museum of Anthropology and a traditional market in the advertisement, local artists and cultures are promoted.

Similar efforts have been taken on in the past in neighboring countries (see story).